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School organization tips for students with ADHD or learning disabilities
ADHD or no ADHD, organization isn't easy for kids. But for children with attention deficit disorder, organizing, prioritizing and managing time are especially challenging. Become your child's organization coach, and engage her in setting up a process to stay organized. Help your child practice her skills on a regular basis, and stick with the systems you create together. Get started with these nine rules for better ADHD organization at school.
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My child struggles with writing: Why typical evaluations don't do the job
By: Howard Margolis
Typical writing evaluations are often inadequate. Knowing this may help you convince school or private evaluators that your child needs a different kind of writing evaluation, one that might use but doesn't depend on standardized tests to compare him or her to other children. Instead, outside of standardized testing, it directly examines what he or she can and can't do well and tries to identify external barriers to progress. There are several important written requests you may need to send the school. If you're faced with resistance, there are possible actions to lessen or eliminate it.
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IDEA applies to 'twice exceptional' students too
Disability Scoop
Students with disabilities are entitled to special education services, even if they are cognitively gifted, federal officials say. In a memorandum to state directors of special education, the U.S. Department of Education is reminding educators not to leave behind students considered "twice exceptional." This group includes individuals who have a disability who are also intellectually gifted.
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  Student-Paced, Mastery-Based Math
Since 2004, Math-U-See has worked with intervention and special education teachers to reach struggling special needs math students. Math-U-See corresponds to math ability rather than traditional grade levels, so it can be used with students of any age. We provide tools and training for an explicit, structured, systematic, cumulative program using multi-sensory teaching techniques. MORE

Looking to share your expertise?
In an effort to enhance the overall content of THE LD SOURCE, we'd like to include peer-written articles in future editions. As a member of LDA and/or reader of THE LD SOURCE, your knowledge of learning disabilities and related issues lends itself to unprecedented expertise. And we're hoping you'll share this expertise with your peers through well-written commentary. Because of the digital format, there's no word or graphical limit. Our group of talented editors can help with final edits. If you're interested in participating, please contact Ronnie Richard to discuss logistics.

 In the News

Federal aid formulas a sticky issue in ESEA debate
Education Week
When the Senate education committee marked up and approved a bipartisan rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act earlier this month, one of the few issues members sparred over was changing a formula used to distribute federal funds to states and school districts for activities such as teacher preparation. Meanwhile, the committee didn't touch another complex, long-standing, and politically sensitive issue: the way Title I money for low-income students flows to states and districts.
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Choice in books may help kids' reading score over summer
Allowing young children to choose books they'd like to read over the summer break from school may hone their reading skills and prevent "summer slide" in reading scores, suggests new research. Kids who were allowed to select books to take home at the end of the spring term had better reading scores when they returned to school in the fall, compared to kids who received books they had not chosen, researchers found.
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Beating the Common Core
Scholastic Administration Magazine
The Common Core State Standards are designed to help students build a solid foundation of knowledge and skills in preparation for both college and career. To help students meet the expectations of these more rigorous standards, it is important for educators to focus on the standards that students struggle with most. Based on i-Ready diagnostic data from more than 750,000 students, Curriculum Associates has identified four standards as the most difficult in reading and math. These findings are shared below to help educators better plan and maximize their instructional time, accelerate student progress, and create learning environments in which all students can succeed.
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  Inform Attention Related Diagnoses
Develop a comprehensive evaluation using the gold standard Conners CPT 3™, an auditory test of attention, the Conners CATA®, and the early childhood Conners K-CPT 2™. All assessments have been updated with easily interpreted reports, representative normative samples, and new scores to pinpoint the exact issue. Learn more:

Testing gives 3rd-graders upset stomachs, tears and even fevers
The Hechinger Report
This year was the first year that Mississippi teachers taught the Common Core standards in grades kindergarten through 12th grade. It was also the first year using a new computer-based end of year exam, which the state Board of Education voted in January to toss out after this year. And to add to the host of changes, this year was also the first for the "third-grade gate" test, which will check reading ability and prevent third graders from going to fourth grade if they can't read on grade level. The Hechinger Report sat down with Darla Miller, a third grade teacher in east Mississippi, to talk about the changes and challenges that she has experienced in this year of reforms.
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Students with disabilities are not alone
Crain's Cleveland Business
Attending college, albeit fun, is challenging. Students manage plenty: deadlines, schedules, exams, finances, extracurriculars, commuting, residential life — even free time. Consider another layer of challenges for a student with disabilities: academic access. Campus offices of accessibility or disability services can be a critical resource, supporting the academic experience and working to ensure equal access to the academic environment for students with disabilities. These offices have the mission of providing accommodations to students with documented disabilities, making sure the university's environment is inclusive and welcoming, said Alsace Toure, director of disability services for students at Baldwin Wallace University.
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Report: Teacher leadership is key to Common Core success
THE Journal
A new report from the Center for American Progress examines districts throughout the country where collaboration between management and unions has given teachers a meaningful voice in implementation of the Common Core State Standards. The report, "Teacher Leadership: The Pathway to Common Core Success," is itself a collaboration between CAP and the Teacher Union Reform Network, which helped identify districts that provide opportunities for teacher input into Common Core implementation.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Fidgeting helps children with ADHD learn, study suggests (Science World Report)
My child struggles with writing: How can we discover the cause? (By: Howard Margolis)
On retention, second thoughts about exempting students with IEPs (SpecialEdConnection®, April 13, 2015 Issue Date)
Fresh battles loom when full Senate takes up ESEA rewrite (Education Week)
Senators spar over aid to dyslexic students (Washington Examiner)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.

Florida education department clarifies rules on student retention, teacher evaluations
Tampa Bay Times
The passage of HB 7069 into law changed the rules for evaluating Florida students and teachers. Exactly how has been the subject of much debate. There's been a healthy back and forth, for instance, over whether the Legislature's action gave school districts more flexibility on retaining third graders who score at the lowest levels of the state reading test. Here's what we recently wrote, suggesting that schools hold the final decision. The Florida Stop Common Core Coalition, for one, took issue, saying we got it wrong.
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For kids, bullying by peers is worse than abuse from adults
A long-term study shows that children who were bullied have more trouble in adulthood than children mistreated by their parents. Peers may be worse than parents when it comes to the psychological effects of disparaging words and harassment. A study published in The Lancet Psychiatry reports that children who were bullied by peers had significant mental health problems as adults — even more significant than children who were mistreated by their parents or caregivers.
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LDA does not recommend or endorse any one specific diagnostic or therapeutic regime, whether it is educational, psychological or medical. The viewpoints expressed in THE LD SOURCE are those of the authors and advertisers.

Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Hailey Golden, Senior Education Editor, 469.420.2630   
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